Jason Reitman‘s tale of a reclusive single mom (Kate Winslet) whose young son struggles to be the man of the house will open December 27 for a weeklong Oscar-qualifying run. Labor Day, which debuted at Telluride en route to Toronto, is adapted from Joyce Maynard’s novel and co-stars Josh Brolin as the escaped convict who talks the mother and son into taking him in. Paramount will go wide with the drama on January 31.
Theo James Cast As Four In ‘Divergent’; Kate Winslet, Aaron Eckhart, Ray Stevenson And Miles Teller Also Starring
BREAKING: The male lead in Summit‘s Neil Burger-directed adaptation of Divergent has gone to Theo James, currently the star of the CBS series Golden Boy and whose credits include Downton Abbey and Underworld: The Awakening. He will star opposite The Spectacular Now‘s Shailene Woodley. The film’s set in a futuristic world where people are herded into factions based on their personalities. Woodley plays Tris Prior, who is deemed a “divergent” who doesn’t fit into any group and who learns she and other divergents are going to be destroyed. She needs to find out what makes these divergents so dangerous. James’ character Four is her intense instructor and one of the leaders of the Dauntless faction. For James, it’s a potential star-making role.
Summit is also closing deals with Kate Winslet, Aaron Eckhart, Ray Stevenson and Miles Teller. They will join Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort and Maggie Q in the cast. Erik Feig and Gillian Bohrer are overseeing for Lionsgate. The film is based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling novel, and Vanessa Taylor and Evan Daugherty wrote the script. Production begins April in Chicago.
Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing the project via their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Red Wagon’s Rachel Shane is executive producing. Summit will release the film theatrically in North America in The Hunger Games slot on Friday, March 21, 2014.
In a joint statement, Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairmen of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said, “Theo is not only an incredibly talented actor, he is also who we envisioned as Four when reading Veronica’s novel which has taken the world by storm. As we continue to develop the film, the studio remains committed to providing fans with a movie adaptation that stays as true to the book as possible and we are confident that we have done so with our selection of Shailene and Theo in the leading roles.”
Deadline noted in February that Alan Rickman is set to direct British indie A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Rust & Bone‘s Matthias Schoenaerts. Lionsgate UK has boarded the film as main financier as part of a drive to double its investment in local film. Rickman will also star in the love story about rival landscape gardeners who are competing to design a fountain at Versailles for Louis XIV. Principal photography starts in April. Rickman previously directed Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law in 1997′s The Winter Guest. He recently signed with ICM Partners and next plays Ronald Reagan in the Lee Daniels-directed The Butler. Winslet is next starring in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. Belgian actor Schoenaerts, who broke out in 2011′s Bullhead, just won France’s César Award for Best Male Newcomer in Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone.
Gail Egan, Andrea Caldrewood and Bertrand Faivre are producing with Lionsgate UK’s Zygi Kamasa exec producing. The studio will co-produce alongside BBC Films and Lipsync. Ray Cooper, Christine Langan, Julia Taylor Stanley, Norman Merry will also executive produce. Lionsgate UK will take UK rights and rep U.S. rights with Lionsgate International handling the rest of the world. Australia’s Transmission has Oz.
Actor-director Kenneth Branagh has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth who also recognized actress Kate Winslet as a Commander of the British empire. Stage and screen veteran Branagh will now be known as Sir Kenneth. “I feel very humble about it, I feel elated about it,” he told the BBC. Branagh is currently directing and co-starring with Chris Pine in Paramount’s Tom Clancy reboot Jack Ryan. Winslet will be seen next in the ensemble comedy Movie 43 that opens January 25. Additionally Take That frontman Gary Barlow, a judge on the British version of X-Factor, received the Order of the British Empire.
Kate Winslet’s original screen test from Titanic has surfaced as part of the film’s release this week on Blu-ray. She’s seen here opposite Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order) in the role of Jack Dawson. (There’s no sign of Leo). Yahoo New Zealand has the clip:
UPDATED: The Artist was the big winner at the 37th César Awards tonight in Paris with prizes for best picture, director, cinematography, score, art direction and actress for Bérénice Bejo, who accepted her prize in one of the evening’s most moving moments. Best Actor Oscar-tipped Jean Dujardin, however, lost out to Untouchable‘s Omar Sy, who starred in the feel-good film that was 2011′s biggest hit in France and is now the third-biggest grosser of all time here.
I watched the ceremony at a viewing party thrown by Wild Bunch, the international sales company behind such winners and nominees as Artist, Poliss and Declaration Of War. Some of the industry-laden crowd were unsurprised by Sy’s win over Dujardin, saying they sensed that even the somewhat staid French Académie was reticent to let the tireless Sy go without recognition. The soirée was held in Wild Bunch’s movie theater-cum-lounge near the Pantheon with the sales teams, distributors and production folk who worked on their films plus other industry types – and filmmaker Gaspar Noe, too. The gathering had several horses in the various races but took it all in Gallic stride, cheering each other on, catcalling and yawning at the boring parts (and there were quite a few — the show tried to pull a Billy Crystal at the outset, inserting host Antoine de Caunes into the nominated films to a pretty muted reaction).
Among the other surprises of the night were a win in the best original screenplay category for L’Exercice De L’Etat‘s Pierre Schoeller, who beat out Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist as well as other favored nominees. Among the highlights was Honorary César winner Kate Winslet, who had been charming the local press in the past days saying it was so much better to receive an award she knew she was going to win. Roman Polanski had been expected to bestow the honor but it was her Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry who was on hand — after host de Caunes congratulated Winslet for being against plastic surgery via her “message”, which according to him is “Don’t fuck with Mother Nature.” In accepting, Winslet made a note to particularly thank her Carnage director Roman Polanski; she later accepted the adapted screenplay prize for Polanski for Carnage. With the kudos pretty well spread out, one attendee this evening told me it wasn’t such a big deal if The Artist didn’t win every prize at home: “It’s more imortant it wins at the Oscars. It’s good for the Césars to pull a rabbit out of the hat sometimes.” Following is a full list of the winners:
The Artist, producer: Thomas Langmann
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Omar Sy, Untouchable
Carmen Maura, Les Femmes Du 6e Etage
Michel Blanc, L’Exercice De L’Etat
Pierre Schoeller – L’Exercice De L’Etat
Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski – Carnage
Are you ready to go back to Titanic?
That is not just a famous line from the 1997 Oscar-winning box office phenomenon, they are also the words producer Jon Landau used this morning in front of a packed theater of journalists at Paramount to introduce 18 minutes of the film’s new 3D conversion. Paramount and 20th Century Fox — which holds international rights after bringing in Paramount to be domestic distributor when the film was sailing way over budget — will open the new 3D-converted Titanic on April 6, 2012. That’s just days before the 100th anniversary of the ship’s maiden launch on April 10, 1912.
“We didn’t want to release it on the day of the sinking, we wanted it to be about the ship itself, but obviously it sank,” said the film’s writer/director/co-producer/co-editor and all-around King of the World James Cameron, who explained that with the 100th anniversary of the fabled ship’s sailing the time was right not only for 3D but to bring the movie back for a new theatrical experience — even though it has been out in various video formats for years. “It has to do with the psychology of going to a theater. We make a committment to spend those two or three hours in a shared experience with others … and there is a whole generation that hasn’t seen it at all,” Cameron said, adding that in the modern world of cell phones, texting, emailing and other distractions, it is hard to get the full intended impact of a film like this at home.
Of course, Cameron has publicly stated he isn’t a fan of 3D conversions for films that have a choice. But he makes an exception for those “20 or 30 classic films out there” that can find a new audience with the format, and Titanic fit the bill. “I love 3D; if I had the 3D cameras at the time, I certainly would have loved to have shot the film with them,” he said. When I spoke with him afterwards in the lobby, his enthusiasm was infectious for the film and the new technologies he now has at his disposal to give it new life. He said the whole movie would have been shot differently today than in 1997: Rather than building those massive ship sets, he would have relied much more heavily on CGI and other techniques than the not-so-cost-effective way they did it then. He said that fortunately for him the film made money (that’s an understatement), but it could have had a very different outcome. In other words, a lot of dice were rolled on Titanic, which of course went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time until Cameron’s own Avatar usurped it a couple of years ago. It would now take another billion or so for it to come back from the video bins and topple Avatar — an unlikely outcome — but one informed source working on the new re-release told me another “4 or 5″ (hundred million) could be in play. Certainly Disney’s success with The Lion King’s 3D conversion is whetting appetities all over Hollywood for the boxoffice possibilities of library titles.
Elizabeth Snead contributed to Deadline’s Emmy coverage.
Historically, the Emmys is not a couture-heavy red carpet. But last night several Emmy-nominated actresses sashayed into the Nokia Theatre modeling haute couture from international designers like Armani, Elie Saab, Marchesa and Dior.
What does this mean? It could mean that TV actresses are increasingly cross-over film stars (and vice versa) and warrant couture designers’ attention. Or it could mean that the bigger awards — the Golden Globes and the Oscars — are now so competitive that designers are looking to the Emmys for additional celebrity mannequins.
Who got the most gowns on the hottest actresses on the 2011 Emmy carpet? Let’s do a head count.
Giorgio Armani outfitted Julianna Margulies, the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series winner from The Good Wife. He also garbed Top Chef reality star Padma Lakshmi and fresh face Minka Kelly, star of the upcoming Charlie’s Angels. Marchesa dressed Glee star Lea Michele and Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss. Oscar de la Renta had his designs on Modern Family‘s Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series winner Julie Bowen.
But Elie Saab dressed Mildred Pierce winner Kate Winslet (left) and nominee Evan Rachel Wood as well as Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt. He gets extra points for dressing Winslet, who won the Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Emmy and gave major exposure to his simple elegant red gown, a design that was head and shoulders above the sea of strapless, garish, sparkly and overdone red gowns worn last night. We counted nine. Was there a red dress memo that went out?
Emmys Live-Blog: ‘Modern Family,’ Dominates Comedy Field, ‘Mad Men’ Squeaks Best Drama Win, Big Farewell For ‘Friday Night Lights’ And Upsets Galore
We’re off and running. The much-talked-about opening number of host Jane Lynch features the Glee star in a massive pre-taped production number having her sing and dance through the stages of a slew of hit TV shows. It opens with Leonard Nimoy who, as network president, introduces Lynch to the house of television where all TV shows are housed. The part was originally taped with Alec Baldwin but was redone after Fox cut a line about the News Corp hacking scandal. The elements are uneven, but the best bit is Lynch walking into a scene of AMC’s period ad agency drama Mad Men and being asked by Jon Hamm’s Don Draper to go fetch coffee. When Lynch fires back that she is no secretary but the host of the Emmys Pete Campbell’s Kartheiser is not impressed. “What you should be doing is learning how to type and firing the guy that gave you that man’s haircut!” Lynch tells them that a lot has changed since 1965 and now women can marry each other, nodding, “Hi, Peggy….” “Does that mean women don’t have to sleep with men anymore to make it to the top?” wide-eyed Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) asks. “No, you still have to do that,” Lynch replies. She tells the group that people can now watch television on their phones. When she adds that in the future people can fast-forward through the commercials, everyone freezes. Ad man Don Draper turns to her and gives her a steely look. “You’re going to turn around, walk out of here, and we’re going to pretend we never met you.” Lynch obliges but not before one last jab at Kartheiser, “This haircut costs more than your house. “The number spilled into the stage with a big live finale featuring Lynch hoisted up by male dancers. “Try doing this with triple Spanx,” she said after getting down.
ABC’s Modern Family is on an early roll in the supporting comedy series acting categories, dismissing some projections that, with all 6 cast members nominated in the 2 categories, they might cancel each other out. The first winner of the night is the show’s Julie Bowen for best supporting actress in a comedy series. “I don’t know what I am going to talk about in therapy next week now,” she says.
A second after she thanked her TV husband, Ty Burrell, he too walked to the stage to pick up his trophy for best supporting actor in a comedy series. Burrell talked about his dad, who passed away before he got into acting, doing “a job where every day I go to work in makeup.”
Ricky Gervais presents the director for a comedy series category in a pre-taped segment. “Sorry. I can’t be live and in person. Not after the Golden Globes. I’m not even allowed on American soil if I say something rude or offensive.”
Modern Family is going 3-for-3 with a comedy series directing award for director Michael Alan Spiller for the Halloween episode.
And now it’s 4-for-4 as Modern Family also wins for best writing in a comedy series for the “Caught in the Act” episode written by Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman. Levitan, noting that the episode’s main story of the Dunphy kids walking in on their parents having sex was based on his own experience, thanked his “somewhat satisfied wife and 3 traumatized children.” The director cuts to Levitan’s wife who is rolling her eyes.
After the early Modern Family sweep, Lynch comes back from commercial with “Welcome back to the Modern Family Awards.”
Then it’s Charlie Sheen, presenting the lead actor in a comedy series category. Like on The Tonight Show earlier in the week, it was not the Warlock but the old Sheen — cool, collected and gracious — who showed up. “Before I present the award in my old category I wanna take a moment to get something off my chest and say something to all my friends from Two and a Half Men,” he said. “From the bottom of my heart, I wish nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent 8 wonderful years together, I know you will continue to make great television. Now on to the Emmy.”
Deadline’s Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond were backstage at the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight to hear what the winners had to say.
Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell came backstage together after winning the awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The Modern Family stars were asked first about being part of a show that is breaking ground for gays. Burrell said, “I don’t know, in terms of America, it feels very, very good to be on a show that seems like it’s slowly changing a lot of minds. Eric [Stonestreet] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] deserve all of the credit for that, and our amazing showrunners. It’s a great thing to just peripherally go to events and just basically start to talk about those characters like any other characters, relating to their life — it’s pretty cool.” Bowen joked, “As a straight woman, and part of a straight couple on the show, I feel marginalized.” On a more serious note, she added: “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but where it’s an issue, I’m glad that we are part of helping change minds.” Using the word “straight” in a different context, Burrell praised Bowen: “It’s even greater credit to what Julie does that the straight-person wins an Emmy, I don’t think that happens very often. In a couple there’s usually a straight-man and a wilder character. It’s due to her resourcefulness as an actor.” On going back to the set with an Emmy when other cast members were also nominated, Burrell said: “Eric won last year, and Ed [O'Neill] actually just said something really sweet right before the award, ‘whoever wins deserves it.’ I feel like we’re trying to enjoy this moment more than anything — we know this doesn’t last forever; we’re having a lot of fun.” Bowen said about her surprise win, “I kinda thought it was a lock on Betty White. If I didn’t have a dog in this fight, and I had two, I would have voted for Betty White. Claire is not necessarily fall-down funny every time.” She credits the writers for having found ways to make her character have many dimensions and “not just be the mom.” …
Later, Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, winners for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, were asked how it feels for Modern Family to be sweeping the awards so far, with wins in every category they’ve been eligible for. Levitan: “We’re beyond thrilled with the way things have gone, obviously. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and from the bottom of our hearts we feel that Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen deserved to win. (Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series winner) Michael Alan Spiller, not so much. To tell you the truth, it’s a little surreal.” They were then asked what they did to ramp up the stories and quality of Modern Family in Season 2. Levitan: “We feel like we know the characters a little bit better this year. There was such dedication this year to keeping the quality up. We all live in fear of the quality dipping so we work extra hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. … I’ll also tell you that our kids are the unsung heroes of the show. What they do on this show is amazing. We ask them to do such complicated turns and they nail it constantly. They’re playing at the same level as the adults and that’s a rare thing.” …
Participant Media Can Boast ‘Contagion’ #1 & ‘The Help’ #2; ‘Warrior’ #3 Disappoints; ‘Bucky Larson’ Bombs; Kevin Hart Still #10?
SATURDAY PM: This is shaping up as 2011′s lousiest box office weekend in North America with only $70M total grosses. Yes, even worse than Hurricane Irene’s. A lot of surprises in this weekend’s numbers and a fuller analysis is coming. But no surprise which new North American movie is No. 1:
1. With $8M Friday and +20% for $9.7M Saturday, it’s a $24M weekend for Warner Bros’ Contagion playing in 42% more theaters — 3,222 — than its nearest newcomer. This Participant Media-backed disease movie looked like yet another yikes-you’re-all-going-to-die formula pic. But I’m surprised it didn’t generate more appeal what with Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh directing 6 Academy Award winners or nominees: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne. (Readers are urging me to include Oscar-honored John Hawke and Elliott Gould as well…) That added oomph to credited screenplay writer Scott Burns’ material. “Yes, it was important to be provocative and to scare people,” a Warner Bros exec tells me about the $60M-budget pic. “But both the print and trailer and TV campaign present a more well-rounded view of the mystery. We did sell the visceral experience — a smart and thrilling look at a killer virus, the science behind it, and the aftermath.” Warner Bros took the film to Venice to solid reviews and conducted an aggressive consumer campaign. Besides, adult movies are working at the box office.
2. Entering its 5th weekend in release, DreamWorks/Disney’s hit dramedy The Help which is also backed by Participant Media made $2.7M Friday and $4M Saturday going to $9.4M from 2,935 locations for the weekend. It’s estimated new cume of $137.8M by Monday.
3. This seemingly anticipated mixed martial arts drama Warrior starring Tom Hardy (Bane in the next Batman) and Joel Edgerton was only released for 1,869 runs. It opened with $1.8M Friday and $2.1M Saturday for what was just a dismal $4.8M weekend. Another very disappointing opening for Lionsgate which was very high on this actioner. Did last weekend’s sneaks let some wannasee steam escape? Will this hurt Hardy whom Hollywood execs consider a hot soon-to-be-star?
4. Focus Features’ adult holdover The Debt earned $1.4M Friday (-45% from a week ago) from 1,874 theaters and a projected $4.5M weekend for an estimated $21.6M cume by Monday.
5. Sony Pictures’ holdover Colombiana made $1.1M Friday and $1.9M Saturday from 2,354 runs for a $4M weekend and $29.8M cume.
But I have it on good authority that Sony execs were hiding out at the Toronto Film Festival (where better-than-expected Moneyball officially premiered Friday night) rather than get tagged by its Columbia Pictures’ R-rated Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star which had one of the most annoying TV ad campaigns I’ve ever been assaulted by. Mercifully, its box office take was miniscule: $540K Friday and $570K Saturday for only a $1.2M weekend. That wasn’t even enough to make it into the Top 10 much less Sony’s hoped-for $4M. Fortunately the budget is purportedly just $10M. Usually Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production banner gives Sony box office gold: stupid pics popular with audiences. But this was fool’s gold.
Before I give you the rest of the Top 10, you should know that Kevin Hart’s Laugh At My Pain was No. 10 Friday despite Hartbeat Productions and Codeblack Entertainment releasing it into only 99 theaters. It opened to $758K Friday and an estimated weekend of $2M. But it may ultimately be beaten by The Weinstein Co’s Spy Kids 4D. (I’ll know Sunday AM.) Hart’s fans turned out for this profanity-filled film version of his recent stand-up tour. It offers less than an hour of Hart onstage but also includes such bonus footage as Hart touring his old neighborhood in Philadelphia and faking a bank heist. Directed by Leslie Small, this 1-hour, 28-minute pic and its entry into the Top 10 now establishes Hart as a bonafide star beyond just his YouTube videos which have drawn tens of millions of views. Look for the major studios to take notice.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has come aboard to distribute Labor Day, the adaptation of the Joyce Maynard novel that was scripted and will be directed by Jason Reitman, who is making this his next film. The studio joins Indian Paintbrush and Reitman’s Right of Way to produce the romantic drama, which stars Kate Winslet as a single mother who takes in a stranger with a dangerous past, played by Josh Brolin, and she falls in love with him over the course of Labor Day Weekend. Production is expected to start in June 2012. Paramount and Indian Paintbrush already have partnered on Like Crazy and Jeff Who Lives at Home, the latter of which is playing here at Toronto. UPDATE: Paramount just made it official with a release:
The Roman Polanski-directed Carnage is up with a new trailer. The drama, an adaptation of the hit Broadway play God of Carnage, stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. The film opens the New York Film Festival and, obviously, Polanski won’t be there to take the …
His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL.